GRAINS-Corn, soy plunge on U.S. weather, broad commodities sell-off

Source: By Julie Ingwersen, Reuters • Posted: Thursday, June 17, 2021

CHICAGO, June 17 (Reuters) – U.S. corn and soybean futures fell sharply on Thursday, pressured by outlooks for rain and cooler temperatures in the Midwest crop belt, as well as spillover weakness from broad-based selling in the commodities sector, analysts said.

Wheat followed the weaker trend, with the U.S. winter wheat harvest under way.

As of 1:08 p.m. CDT (1808 GMT), Chicago Board of Trade July corn was down its 40-cent daily limit at $6.33 per bushel. July soybeans were down $1.12 at $13.36-1/2 a bushel and new-crop November was down 88-1/4 cents at $12.55, dropping below $13 for the first time since April.

CBOT July wheat was down 24-1/4 cents at $6.38-1/2 a bushel.

Grains followed declines in crude oil and gold as the U.S. dollar rose sharply after the U.S. Federal Reserve signaled it might raise interest rates at a much faster pace than assumed.

Commodity funds hold a net long position in CBOT corn, soybean and soyoil futures, leaving the markets prone to bouts of long liquidation.

“All these outside markets – the funds (are) just exiting. The charts, certainly in beans, meal and oil, look ugly,” said Dan Cekander, president of DC Analysis.

CBOT July soyoil fell by its expanded 5.5-cent daily limit to 56.57 cents per pound, nearly 9% on the day, as global vegetable oil markets retreated from multi-year highs.

Traders expect showers to bring relief to dry areas of the U.S. Corn Belt over the next two weeks, improving production prospects. Thursday’s weekly U.S. Drought Monitor, prepared by a consortium of climatologists, showed severe drought across 41% of Iowa, the top U.S. corn producer and the No. 2 soy grower.

“When the market seems rain in front of it, it extracts premium accordingly,” said Dan Basse, president of AgResource Co in Chicago.

Soybeans have been under pressure recently following news the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is considering ways to provide relief to U.S. oil refiners from mandates requiring the blending of biofuels including soy-based biodiesel.

Reporting by Naveen Thukral in Singapore and Sybille de La Hamaide in Paris; Editing by Marguerita Choy